Now that the BCS stands for Basically Chasing Saban, Saturdays like this one have become nearly as infrequent as lunar eclipses. Alabama actually has a chance to lose.
Or not. LSU must go to Tuscaloosa, but it was two years ago that the Tigers showed up and upset the Tide. Not that it mattered in the end, but Al the elephant has never forgotten and neither has anyone else at Alabama.
So we know just where to start with this week’s Tense 10 — 10 games with something to prove.
1. LSU at Alabama: It’s November, and Alabama has erupted like Old Faithful. The Tide have outscored their last six opponents 246-26 and allowed two touchdowns in the past 24 quarters, and the theory is growing stronger that nobody on its schedule can push Alabama unless his name is Johnny Manziel. It’s LSU’s turn to prove differently.
2. Nebraska at Michigan: A Hail Mary might have saved Nebraska’s season. Historic futility on the ground against Michigan State might have ruined the Wolverines’. Both teams have endured disappointment, and for someone, it’s about to only get worse. Michigan coach Brady Hoke still hasn’t lost in the Big House, after 19 home games.
3. Florida State at Wake Forest: After whipping Miami, the Seminoles were partying like it was 1999, which is the last time they started 8-0. This looks like a cushy weekend junket for a Florida State team pummeling the opposition by an average score of 51-13. But there can be no post-Miami letdown.
4. Houston at UCF: This is the biggest game in the history of the American Athletic Conference. Which is, what, 11 weeks? Houston, 7-1, has scored in all 32 quarters this season and owns a rather stunning 29-9 turnover margin, to lead the universe. UCF, at 6-1, lists Louisville and Penn State among its victims. The winner will sit atop the AAC, hoping the polls notice.